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Last Updated on 20 May 2019

Author: Benedikt Eckhardt

CAPInv. 1329: he synodos ton hieroneikon


i. Geographical area Western Asia Minor
ii. Region Ionia
iii. Site Smyrna


i. Full name (original language) ἡ σύνοδος τῶν ἱερονεικῶν (I.Smyrna 217, ll. 4-5)
ii. Full name (transliterated) he synodos ton hieroneikon


i. Date(s) 1 (?) - 200 (?) AD


ii. Name elements
Status-related:hieroneikai. The term designates the winners of sacred contests.
iii. Descriptive terms σύνοδος, synodos
σύστη[μα], syste[ma]
Note synodos: I.Smyrna 217, l. 4; I.Smyrna 657, l. 4
syste[ma]: I.Smyrna 709, l. 19

The connection between the hieroneikai of I.Smyrna 217 and I.Smyrna 709 is not certain, but likely. The term σύστημα, systema, is also attested in the fragment I.Smyrna 710 (l. 3); it may relate to the same association.


i. Source(s) I.Smyrna 217 (1 (?) - 200 (?) AD)
I.Smyrna 657 (42-123 AD) (= ΙvΟ 55)
I.Smyrna 709 (1 (?) - 200 (?) AD)
Note See also:
ΙvΟ 55

The only reference that can be dated is I.Smyrna 657 (between 42 and 123 AD). For I.Smyrna 709, Forbes 1955: 241 assumes a first century date.
Online Resources I.Smyrna 217
I.Smyrna 709
IvO 55
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script I.Smyrna 217 is a sarcophagus inscription.
I.Smyrna 657 is an honorific decree for a member of the association.
I.Smyrna 709 contains fragmentary regulations for an endowment to the association.
In greek.
ii. Source(s) provenance The origins of I.Smyrna 217 and I.Smyrna 709 are unclear. The attribution to Smyrna relies on 709 l. 7 (Σμύρνῃ, Smyrnei). I.Smyrna 657 was found at Olympia.


iv. Endowments The association is the recipient of a fine to be paid for the violation of a grave (I.Smyrna 217). The mention of a sarcophagus in I.Smyrna 709, l. 18 may point to a similar purpose of the endowment.


i. Local interaction The synodos was tied to the gymnasium; I.Smyrna 709 possibly mentions apalaistr[o]i (l. 9) in order to make sure that only those participating in the gymnastic activities could profit from the endowment.


i. Comments The synodos of the hieroneikai [kai stephaneitai] was different from the synodos of athletes (and both probably differed from the Dionysiac techneitai). Cf. Pleket 1973: 202-3. Both were worldwide organizations. However, this synodos seems to have been a Smyrnaean branch, as it was involved in local affairs like caring for the grave of a donor. When the city of Smyrna honours a ἱερονείκης ἀπὸ συνόδου, hieroneikes apo synodou (I.Smyrna 657, l. 4), this may mean that he was "Hieronike und Mitglied des Weltverbandes der Athleten" (Petzl ad loc.; cf. I.Eph(esos) 902, ll. 9-10), but the Smyrnaean officials may also have had in mind the local σύνοδος, synodos, in their own city. In a similar manner, the mystai kai techneitai of Dionysos Breiseus were a Smyrnaean branch of the worldwide association of Dionysiac actors.
iii. Bibliography Forbes, C.A. (1955), ‘Ancient Athletic Guilds’, CPh 50: 238-52.
Pleket, H.W. (1973), ‘Some Aspects of the History of the Athletic Guilds’, ZPE 10: 197-227.


i. Private association Probable
Note The connection to the gymnasium and the general character of athletic associations suggest an intermediate status between public and private.
ii. Historical authenticity Certain